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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19373, 2021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442809

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 primarily affecting the respiratory system which can damage vessels walls virtually in any body district. Changes affecting retinal vessels are a good marker for systemic vascular alterations. This study investigated retinal vessels during the acute phase of COVID-19 and after patients recovery. Fifty-nine eyes from 32 COVID-19 patients and 80 eyes from 53 unexposed subjects were included. Mean arteries diameter (MAD) and mean veins diameter (MVD) were assessed through semi-automatic analysis on fundus color photos at baseline and 6 months later in patients and subjects unexposed to the virus. At baseline MAD and MVD were significantly higher in COVID-19 patients compared to unexposed subjects (p < 0.0001). Both MAD and MVD significantly decreased in COVID-19 patients at follow-up (from 97.5 ± 10.9 to 92.2 ± 11.4 µm, p < 0.0001 and from 133.1 ± 19.3 to 124.6 ± 16.1 µm, p < 0.0001, respectively). Despite this reduction vessels diameter remained significantly higher in severe COVID-19 patients compared to unexposed subjects. Transient retinal vessels dilation could serve a biomarker for systemic inflammation while long-lasting alterations seen in severe COVID-19 likely reflect irreversible structural damage to the vessels walls and should be further investigated for their possible effects on tissues perfusion and function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Retinal Vessels/pathology , Adult , Aged , Female , Fluorescein Angiography , Fundus Oculi , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retina/diagnostic imaging , Retina/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
3.
Pharmacol Res ; 158: 104931, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318940

ABSTRACT

Italy was the first European country hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and has the highest number of recorded COVID-19 deaths in Europe. This prospective cohort study of the correlates of the risk of death in COVID-19 patients was conducted at the Infectious Diseases and Intensive Care units of Luigi Sacco Hospital, Milan, Italy. The clinical characteristics of all the COVID-19 patients hospitalised in the early days of the epidemic (21 February -19 March 2020) were recorded upon admission, and the time-dependent probability of death was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method (censored as of 20 April 2020). Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the factors independently associated with the risk of death. Forty-eight (20.6 %) of the 233 patients followed up for a median of 40 days (interquartile range 33-47) died during the follow-up. Most were males (69.1 %) and their median age was 61 years (IQR 50-72). The time-dependent probability of death was 19.7 % (95 % CI 14.6-24.9 %) 30 days after hospital admission. Age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 2.08, 95 % CI 1.48-2.92 per ten years more) and obesity (aHR 3.04, 95 % CI 1.42-6.49) were independently associated with an increased risk of death, which was also associated with critical disease (aHR 8.26, 95 % CI 1.41-48.29), C-reactive protein levels (aHR 1.17, 95 % CI 1.02-1.35 per 50 mg/L more) and creatinine kinase levels above 185 U/L (aHR 2.58, 95 % CI 1.37-4.87) upon admission. Case-fatality rate of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the early days of the Italian epidemic was about 20 %. Our study adds evidence to the notion that older age, obesity and more advanced illness are factors associated to an increased risk of death among patients hospitalized with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Pharmacol Res ; 158: 104899, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318934

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is causing an increasing number of deaths worldwide because no effective treatment is currently available. Remdesivir has shown in vitro activity against coronaviruses and is a possible antiviral treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection. This prospective (compassionate), open-label study of remdesivir, which was conducted at Luigi Sacco Hospital, Milan, Italy, between February 23 and March 20, 2020, involved patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia aged ≥18 years undergoing mechanical ventilation or with an oxygen saturation level of ≤94 % in air or a National Early Warning Score 2 of ≥4. The primary outcome was the change in clinical status based on a 7-category ordinal scale (1 = not hospitalised, resuming normal daily activities; 7 = deceased). The 35 patients enrolled from February 23 to March 20, 2020, included 18 in intensive care unit (ICU), and 17 in our infectious diseases ward (IDW). The 10-day course of remdesivir was completed by 22 patients (63 %) and discontinued by 13, of whom eight (22.8 %) discontinued because of adverse events. The median follow-up was 39 days (IQR 25-44). At day 28, 14 (82.3 %) patients from IDW were discharged, two were still hospitalized and one died (5.9 %), whereas in ICU 6 (33.3 %) were discharged, 8 (44.4 %) patients died, three (16.7 %) were still mechanically ventilated and one (5.6 %) was improved but still hospitalized. Hypertransaminasemia and acute kidney injury were the most frequent severe adverse events observed (42.8 % and 22.8 % of the cases, respectively). Our data suggest that remdesivir can benefit patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia hospitalised outside ICU where clinical outcome was better and adverse events are less frequently observed. Ongoing randomised controlled trials will clarify its real efficacy and safety, who to treat, and when.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Betacoronavirus , Compassionate Use Trials/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Acute Kidney Injury/chemically induced , Adenosine Monophosphate/adverse effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/adverse effects , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Transaminases/blood , Treatment Outcome
6.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(2)2021 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066814

ABSTRACT

This study assessed the diagnostic performance of the new COVID19SEROSpeed IgM/IgG rapid test (BioSpeedia, a spinoff of the Pasteur Institute of Paris) for the detection of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in comparison to other commercial antibody assays through a large cross-European investigation. The clinical specificity was assessed on 215 prepandemic sera (including some from patients with viral infections or autoimmune disorders). The clinical sensitivity was evaluated on 710 sera from 564 patients whose SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and whose antibody response was compared to that measured by five other commercial tests. The kinetics of the antibody response were also analyzed in seven symptomatic patients. The specificity of the test (BioS) on prepandemic specimens was 98.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 96.2% to 99.4%). When tested on the 710 pandemic specimens, BioS showed an overall clinical sensitivity of 86.0% (95% CI, 0.83 to 0.89), with good concordance with the Euroimmun assay (overall concordance of 0.91; Cohen's kappa coefficient of 0.62). Due in part to simultaneous detection of IgM and IgG for both S1 and N proteins, BioS exhibited the highest positive percent agreement at ≥11 days post-symptom onset (PSO). In conclusion, the BioS IgM/IgG rapid test was highly specific and demonstrated a higher positive percentage of agreement than all the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay/chemiluminescence immunoassay (ELISA/CLIA) commercial tests considered in this study. Moreover, by detecting the presence of antibodies prior to 11 days PSO in 78.2% of the patients, the BioS test increased the efficiency of the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the early stages of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Chromatography, Affinity , Europe , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Kinetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
7.
Respir Med ; 175: 106204, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023739

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic, has already spread around the globe affecting more than 18 million people. As previously observed with other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 deeply dysregulate the immune system eliciting respiratory failure and a state of systemic hyperinflammation in severely ill individuals. Immunotherapy is often used to downgrade the detrimental effects of the disease sustained by high-level of cytokines. Those treatments, however, are known to undermine patients' ability to contain tuberculosis (TB) infection. This study aims to describe interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) results in severe COVID-19 patients eligible for immunosuppressive treatment. Aggregate data were gathered from five hospitals in Milan, Italy, from March 1 to May 15, 2020 and retrospectively analyses. Results were summarized using absolute frequencies and percentages and compared using a two-sided Chi-squared test. Overall, 462 COVID-19 patients were eligible for immunosuppressive therapy, among which 335 were tested using IGRA testing. More than one-third of them (122/335; 36.4%) had an indeterminate IGRA result because of insufficient immune response to mitogen control, 19 (5.7%) tested positive and 194 (57.9) negative. The majority of patients with lymphocytopenia (i.e., total lymphocyte count [TLC] below 1000 cells/mm3) had indeterminate IGRAs (81/155; 52.3%). The proportion becomes even higher in patients with severe lymphocytopenia (i.e., TLC<500 cells/mm3) (36/57; 63%). Our results suggest a possible negative impact of COVID-19 related immune dysregulation on TB infection assessment and management. Close monitoring of individuals with or without retesting of individuals with indeterminate IGRAs and further basic science investigations should to be sought to better comprehend their implication on TB epidemiology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Interferon-gamma Release Tests/methods , Latent Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity/physiology , Interferon-gamma Release Tests/statistics & numerical data , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/therapeutic use , Italy/epidemiology , Latent Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Latent Tuberculosis/immunology , Latent Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Lymphopenia/immunology , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
8.
EClinicalMedicine ; 27: 100550, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-778782

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been associated to microvascular alterations. We screened the fundus of patients with COVID-19 to detect alterations of the retina and its vasculature and to assess possible correlations with clinical parameters. METHODS: Cross-sectional study. The presence of retinal alterations in patients with COVID-19 and subjects unexposed to the virus was assessed using fundus photographs and their prevalence was compared. Mean arteries diameter (MAD) and mean veins diameter (MVD) were compared between patients and unexposed subjects with multiple linear regression including age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, smoking/alcohol consumption, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes as covariates. The influence of clinical/lab parameters on retinal findings was tested in COVID-19 patients. FINDINGS: 54 patients and 133 unexposed subjects were enrolled. Retinal findings in COVID-19 included: haemorrhages (9·25%), cotton wools spots (7·4%), dilated veins (27·7%), tortuous vessels (12·9%). Both MAD and MVD were higher in COVID-19 patients compared to unexposed subjects (98·3 ± 15·3 µm vs 91·9 ± 11·7 µm, p = 0.006 and 138·5 ± 21·5 µm vs 123·2 ± 13·0 µm, p<0.0001, respectively). In multiple regression accounting for covariates MVD was positively associated with COVID-19 both in severe (coefficient 30·3, CI95% 18·1-42·4) and non-severe (coefficient 10·3, CI95% 1·6-19·0) cases compared to unexposed subjects. In COVID-19 patients MVD was negatively correlated with the time from symptoms onset (coefficient -1·0, CI 95% -1·89 to -0·20) and positively correlated with disease severity (coefficient 22·0, CI 95% 5·2-38·9). INTERPRETATION: COVID-19 can affect the retina. Retinal veins diameter seems directly correlated with the disease severity. Its assessment could have possible applications in the management of COVID-19. FUNDING: None.

11.
Eur Respir J ; 56(1)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-382158
12.
Eur J Intern Med ; 76: 36-42, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-377283

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tocilizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody, targets IL-6 receptors blocking downstream pro-inflammatory effects of IL-6. In preliminary reports it was suggested to be beneficial in patients with severe COVID-19. METHODS: In this open-label prospective study we describe clinical characteristics and outcome of 51 patients hospitalized with confirmed and severe COVID-19 pneumonia treated with tocilizumab intravenously. All patients had elevated IL-6 plasma level (>40 pg/mL) and oxygen saturation <93% in ambient air. Clinical outcomes, oxygen support, laboratory data and adverse events were collected over a follow-up of 30 days. RESULTS: Forty-five patients (88%) were on high-flow oxygen supplementation, six of whom with invasive ventilation. From baseline to day 7 after tocilizumab we observed a dramatic drop of body temperature and CRP value with a significant increase in lymphocyte count (p<0.001). Over a median follow-up time of 34 days from tocilizumab, 34 patients (67%) showed an improvement in their clinical severity class; 31 were discharged; 17 (33%) showed a worsening of their clinical status, of these 14 died (27%). The mortality rate was significantly associated with mechanical ventilation at baseline (83.3% vs 20% of patients on non-invasive oxygen support; p=0.0001). The most frequent side effects were an increase of hepatic enzymes (29%), thrombocytopenia (14%), and serious bacterial and fungal infections (27%). CONCLUSION: Tocilizumab exerts a rapidly beneficial effect on fever and inflammatory markers, although no significant impact on the clinical outcome can be inferred by our results. Critically ill patients seem to have a high risk of serious infections with this drug.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiratory Insufficiency , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Fever/diagnosis , Fever/drug therapy , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Lymphocyte Count/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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